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April 28, 2010     Hays Free Press
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Section B OH A HIGH NOTE Sweepstakes galore for local choirs. - Page 3B April 28, 2010 * Page 1B Hays barbeques Lockhart in 11-2 victory PHOTO BY JOB. SAN MIGIJEL Sam Breyfogle pitched five strong innings, striking out seven batters, and picked up an RBI-single at the plate in Hays' 11-2 win at Lockhart Friday night. BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com In about the time it takes to stand in line and get served at Kreuz's, Black's or Chisholm Trail, the Hays baseball team barbequed the Lions in Lockhart Friday night. The Rebels left room for dessert with an easy 11-2 win that keeps Hays tied atop the district stand- ings with two games remaining. Hays rode the solid pitching of Sam Breyfogle and pounded out 12 hits on the night. The Rebels also took advantage of several early defensive blunders by Lockhart to build their advantage. "I'm really proud of the way we're hitting the baseball," Hays HOME STRETCH A win Friday on Senior Night against Lehman at Rebel Field and at Manor Saturday would assure Hays at least a co-district championship head coach Doug Ragsdale said. "The great thing is I think our best games are still ahead of us. This is a group that's not content and wants to improve." A win next Friday evening at home against Lehman and a vic- tory the next day on Saturday af- ternoon at Manor would guaran- tee the Rebels at least a share of the 17-4A tide with San Marcos. If a tie should occur, Hays and San Marcos would either flip a coin to determine playoff seeding or have a one-game playoff likely on May 3 for the top postseason seed and bragging rights. "I think ever since we beat San Marcos in round two of district play, it gave us the confidence we can hit against anybody and that's a great feeling heading toward the playoffs," Hays outfielder Phillip Abreo said. "There haven't been many people that have hit (San Marcos ace) Blake Bagley the way we did, and that gave us so much momentum." The Rebels showed early on against Lockhart their recent surge wouldn't be slowed, as Reuben Miller's single up the middle and Anthony Pesina's single down the right field line scored Mason Gully and Dylan Salinas to make it 2-0 heading to the bottom of the sec- ond inning. Breyfogle helped his own cause in the top of the third with a run- scoring single that plated Abreo, and when Lockhart starting pitcher Ryan Hitter threw wildly on a pick- off attempt at first base for the sec- ond time in the game Gully scored to make it 4-0. The Rebs (18-6, 9-1 17-4A) put the game away when they sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the fourth inning. Abreo and Miller notched RBIs in the frame and Salinas came up See HAYS BASEBALL, pg. 2B i Playoff Bound! Lady Rebs look to snap postseason misery BY JASON .GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com Most teams would have been satisfied with a victory over the fourth-ranked team in the state to close out the regular season, o matter what happened in the pcoming playoffs. Not Hays, however, as the Lady Rebels look to snap nearly a decade's worth of postseason misery. The two seniors on this year's Hays softball team, pitcher Amanda Ruiz and outfielder Taylor McDanie[, were in fifth rade the last time the Lady ebs enjoyed first-round playoff success seven years ago. Since then, Hays has quali- fied for the playoffs five times but have made five straight early exits, failing to advance to the econd round. The Lady Rebels will try to ap that trend when they begin est-of-three playoff series Fri- ay night against Magnolia, the 22nd-ranked team in Class 4A. All games Wig take place at Rud- der High School in Bryan and will begin at 7 p.m. Games one and twO are Friday and Saturday, and game three, if needed, will be Monday. "Winning in the playoffs has leen on our minds all season ng," said Hays second base- an Mary Ann Rizo. "We want tp do it for our seniors, and we Want to win to start a new tradi- tion of playoff success in the Hays softball program." Hays certainly comes into the playoffs with momentum, hav- ing knocked off No. 4 Elgin 2-0 in the last game of the regular season. "We gained a ton of confi- dence after the Elgin game, but we know we have to continue playing at that level to do well against Magnolia,,' said Hays catcher Dani Alvarado. "If we PHOTO BY JASON GORDON Allison Uresti practices a squeeze-bunt play during practice on Monday as the Hays softball team prepares to face Mon- golia in a beSt-of-three series beginning Friday night in Bryan. The Lady Rebs are Iooking to snap a seven-year winless drought in the postseason play with the same kind of drive and heart, we can do it.' Hays head coach Jo Farr said she thinks she has the team this year to snap the Lady Rebs' streak of playoff futility. "If we play with the same kind of intensity, where we have our pitching, hitting and defense working like we did against Elgin, I think we can take 'em," Farr said. "This is a team that's mixed some veteran leadership with talented youth and things have clicked at the right time." Farr added that she has the advantage of more talent up and down the roster than in recent years. "We can pull people in and out of the lineup and can put them in different spots in the field without missing a beat," Farr said. "That's a great luxury to have in the playoffs, especial- ly in a series, because you never kmow what's going to happen." 2Freshman shortstop Hannah Ratmsey said her first year on vazrsity has been a great learning extperience, but it's not going to fecel like a total success unless thee Lady Rebels knock offMag- nodia and advance. '"I think we're trying to take thiis program to the next level," Rannsey said. 'Accomplishing that goal starts this weekend aglainst Magnolia." Sophomore continuing family tradition at Lehman BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com The last name is very familiar m most Lehman High fans, but sophomore Jaylon Hardaway is more than just Lobo legend It] daway's baby brother. here's no doubt they are relat- ach carries the same serious eanor both on the field and o the track. Both are usually si- lent out of the limelight. And both have very religious work ethics. Jaylon won the 400-meter dash at the recent District 17-4A track ob d field meet, and is anchor leg oth the B00-meter and 1,600- ter relay teams that will also be competing at the Class 4A Region III meet at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville May 3-4. He's also one of the starting wide- outs for the Lehman football team. There was already a positive buzz surrounding laylon the min- ute he arrived on the Lehman PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Lehman sophomore Jaylon Hardaway is following in the large footprints left behind by his brother RJ, who gradu- ated last year as the school's all-time leading rusher. campus. It was quite apparent that the Hardaway tradition was going to be in very capable hands once R], the school's an-time lead- ing rusher in football and a star in both track and field and basket- ball, graduated in 2009. "When I first got to Lehman, my brother already told me what to expect," laylon said. "He told me to come here and work hard and that's what I did. It was a sur- prise when Coach Davis told me I was going to be playing on the varsity team in my first year. It took me awhile to get comfort- able because I knew I had a lot to live up to." As a result of both his work eth- ic and talent, he was quickly ele- vated to the varsity football squad as a freshman. Although he wasn't able to con- tribute a lot in his first season on the football field, Jaylon remained focused and emerged from his in- augural season as a Lobo with a new outlook. "There were times when I got frustrated because I didn't feel like I was helping the team, but I was still able to learn a lot from thmt season." Jaylon said. "But I'm glatd I was able to get a chance to fPolaiy with RI because he kept me cmsed." Irhe siblings are very close, and the;re was no greater evidence of thmt than during the year they spemt playing together in Rl's se- nio)r season a year ago. VNhen RI shaved off his trade- matrk dreadlocl midway through his : senior season, so did ]nylon. B3oth have competed in track and football under the watchful eye; of Lehman offensive coordi- nat(or and head boys track coach MiChael Laney, who has witnessed theiir athletic exploits firsthand. "'They are both very coachable an take their preparation seri- ousdy," Laney said. "I love their connpetitive nature. It's something thatt RI had and now ]nylon has it. They want to be the very best at whattever they do." Atthleticism runs in the Hard- awaty family. Their father, Ronnie, See LOBO TRADITION, pg. 2B PHOTO BY GERALD CASTILLO The Lehman mixed-doubles team of John Martin and Penelope Kittel will participate in the Class 4A UIL state tennis tournament, beginning May 10 in Lakeway. Lehman duo on a mission for state title BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com For the second consecutive season, Orlando DeLaFuente will be coaching at the state tennis tournament. The fifth-year Lehman head tennis coach will once again have a pair of athletes compete at the state meet which will be played at the Lakeway Tennis Complex. The unranked mixed doubles pair of John Martin and Penelope Kittel ran off three straight victories at the Class 4A Region III tournament, including an impressive win over the top seed from Livingston 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals. Although a loss in the finals kept them from capturing the regional tide, DeLaFuente believes the pair was on a mission from the outset. "Pene and John played amazing and deserve to be going to the state tournament," DeLaFu- ente said. "For them, it is an amazing accom- plishment and it couldn't have happened to a better pair of kids." See LEHMAN TENNIS CONTENDERS, pg. 2B Hays hoopsters have new coach BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com The man picked to lead the Hays boys basket- ball program into the future certainly has a solid leadership pedigree. Richard McMullen was called sergeant before he was addressed as coach, serving for more than six years in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduat- ing from the University of Texas-Tyler, including a seven-month tour in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1990. Be then spent six years at Big Sandy High and another five at DeKalb High, both Class 2A schools, where he amassed a 217-63 overall re- cord as head coach. After that, McMullen relocated to Central Texas as an assistant coach and helped guide Pflugervilte Connany to the Class 4A UIL state tournament during his first season at the school in2008. "We had a lot of interest in the job, and it came down to four finalists," Hays athletic director Bob Shelton said. "We really feel Coach McMUl- len is a good choice and will fit in well here. We have a lot of confidence that he will build a good program." The Hays vanity boys basketball coaching job opened up when former coach Kris Fuller de- cided to take the same position at Round Rock Cedar Ridg which will oqan in tlao foil_ McMullen will have the luxury of waildng into a Hays program that will have every varsity start- er returning next season. The Rebels won five of See NEW HAYS BASKETBALL COACH, pg. 2B